949 716-0934 Cell:
This website contains extensive information for consumers and building
professionals regarding aluminum electrical wiring in residential properties.
The contents are the result of study of this topic and represent the opinion of
the author. Actual documents, authoritative research, and government resources
about aluminum wiring are here. This is the most extensive and authoritative
Internet information source for aluminum wiring and related hazards.
Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early
1970's, is a potential fire hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused
by this hazard. Problems due to expansion can cause overheating at connections
between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at splices. CPSC research
shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times
more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than
are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern.
Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most
of the connection failure problems. Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used
for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and
single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or
electric range circuits.
As of the current date of this page only two remedies have been recommended
by the CPSC: discontinued use of the aluminum circuit or, less costly, the
addition of copper connecting "pigtail" wires between the aluminum wire and the
wired device (receptacle, switch, or other device). The pigtail connection must
be made using only a special connector and special crimping tool licensed by the
AMP Corporation. Emergency temporary repairs necessary to keep an
essential circuit in service might be possible following other procedures
described by the CPSC. A
special installation method is described in the article we posted on 1/31/96
WANTED: Aluminum Wiring Failure Cases & Data for ongoing study on
frequency and severity of occurrence of problems. If you have experienced any
problem, or symptom of possible problem with aluminum electrical wiring, or have
repaired or replaced it, please contact Dan Friedman using the contact
information at the end of this page. All information is confidential. Study
results will be provided to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and to
the electrical industry.
Aluminum Wiring photos and tips
the Fire Hazards in Aluminum-Wired Homes, methods, research, experience,
expert sources. This document answers most technical questions about the
hazards and remedies of aluminum electrical wiring. UPDATED 3/5/2003
- Fire Hazards
With Aluminum to Copper Twist-on Connectors & Acceptable Repair Practices
Color Photos, Alternative Retrofit/Repair Procedures, Current Issues. 9/28/95
CPSC Meeting Minutes
- "Is YOUR
Aluminum Wiring Safe?" article discussing safety claims made without
looking at the wiring, J. Aronstein, 11/21/95
Aluminum Wiring," Consumer Product Safety Commission Booklet CPSC#516
- AMP COPALUM CONNECTOR - this one works
- 1 May 2003 - U.S. CPSC announced that Tyco Electronics Corp. will
continue offering the COPALUM connector repair system until at least 2005 -
for details see
- AMP Corporation, Harrisburg PA
17105 800-522-6752 - CPSC's recommended COPALUM aluminum-copper retrofit -
US Customer Support 800-522-6752 [See the TYCO announcement above]
- AMP Canada Product Information Department, 905-470-4425 the COPALUM
connector line is available in Canada; they do not appear to have a
contractor training/certification program such as is (at least in a few
places) available in the USA.
AMP COPALUM Connectors & Equipment Source for at
- AMP-Certified/Trained Aluminum Wire Repair Services
- Colorado, Auroa - Aluminum
Wire Repair, Inc., AMP-COPALUM certified, 720-299-4706 303-886-2850 Cell -
contact Alex Costantino
Louisville - John Waters Corp AMP-COPALUM certified, 502-896-0850 or
502-896-8662 fax - contact Mike Bauerla
- Ohio, Cincinnati - Cooper
- Ohio, -
Leitner Electric AMP-COPALUM certified
- AMP-Certified Electricians:
contact us to add your
listing here IF you are a qualified aluminum wire repair service
company or product provider.
- Ideal-65 Twister - this one doesn't work - purple twist-on
connector sold for aluminum wire repair
reiterates unsuitability of twist-on connectors (Including the Ideal No. 65)
for repairing aluminum wiring in residences.
Tests indicate Ideal-65 Twist-on retrofit connector fails UL 486C Safety
Standard despite UL-listing
- Ideal 65
"Twister" History of and Links to CPSC Documents about Purple Twist-on
- Ideal Industries, Inc., 1000 Park Ave, Sycamore IL 60178-9946.
800-435-0705 U.S. or 800-527-9105 Canada.
- J. Aronstein, "Evaluation of a Twist-on Connector for Aluminum Wire",
Forty-Third IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts, Jan 1997,
[This article describes the Ideal Industries Ideal#65 purple "Twister"
twist-on connector marketed as a repair/retrofit for residential aluminum
Abstract: A new type of twist-on splicing component for use with aluminum
and copper wire combinations is tested to determine initial resistance,
peformance in a zero-current environment test, performance in a heat-cycle
test, and portion of current carried by the connector's steel spring. The
splices tested consist of two aluminum wires and one copper wire. The
aluminum wire samples used for the test are of the types actually installed
in aluminum-wired homes. Initial resistance is found to be relatively high,
and there is a significant sample-to-sample variation. This reflects failure
to consistently establish low-resistance wire-to-wire contact through the
insulating oxide film on the wire. Results of the environmental and
heat-cycle tests show deterioration of a significant portion of the samples.
The splices made with this connector are also found to be sensitive to
mechanical disturbance, such as applied in normal installation when the
completed splice is pushed back in to the junction box. Based on the test
results, it is concluded that this connector has not overcome the
fundamental deficiency of twist-on connectors for use with aluminum wire
applications. Keywords: aluminum wire, connectors, twist-on connectors,
environmental test, heat-cycle test.